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Sunday April 19, 2015

William Shatner’s $30 Billion Kickstarter Campaign to Save California

William Shatner is the Renaissance man incarnate, playing roles from Shakespeare to Star Trek Captain and everything in-between. He is taking on a new role now as the Savior of California. big grin Shatner is proposing a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for his proposed water pipeline running from Washington State to California.

"So I’m starting a Kickstarter campaign. I want $30 billion … to build a pipeline like the Alaska pipeline. Say, from Seattle — a place where there’s a lot of water. There’s too much water. How bad would it be to get a large, 4-foot pipeline, keep it above ground — because if it leaks, you’re irrigating!"

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The Pirate Bay Opens Up Registration to New Users

The Pirate Bay is finally getting its house or ship, as it may be, back in order and began accepting new member registrations as of Saturday. The file sharing site has had a rough winter after being raided by Swedish police in December.

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Norway to Switch Off FM in 2017

In two years, Norway will be the first country in the world to completely shut down its FM network system and replace it with Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB). The transition will begin in 2017 and proceed from the north and go region by region until the transition has been completed

Today’s decision makes Norway the first country in the world to set a final date for FM-switch off. Several countries in Europe and Southeast Asia, however, are in similar processes, choosing DAB-technology as the backbone of future radio distribution.

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Game of Thrones Pirates, HBO Is Coming for You

HBO has had a pretty lenient stance toward users who pirate Game of Thrones as it airs or afterwards, HBO has looked the other way and written it off to good press. But when someone downloads and distributes four episodes in advance of their airing dates, enough is enough. HBO is taking action against these people through their respective ISP’s.

HBO has in the past condemned such practice, but it looks much more furious this time. The American premium cable and satellite television network has started to send out thousands of warnings to subscribers who had illegally obtained copies of 'Game of Thrones', and is asking their respective carriers to take severe actions.

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Grand Theft Auto 5's First PC Patch Corrects Login Bug

Well, that didn’t take long at all, did it? Grand Theft Auto 5 finally makes it to the PC and less than a week after it launches, has already received a well-deserved patch. Patch 1.01 addresses a myriad of launch bugs that have surfaced on the PC version.

Patch 1.01 fixes a problem arising from Windows usernames that featured characters other than alphanumeric (the letters A to Z, or numerals 0 through 9).

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Every Version of Windows Is Affected by This Vulnerability

Another legacy vulnerability dating from 1997 that affects all versions of Windows has been identified. The vulnerability is called Redirect to SMB. You can wait around for Microsoft to roll out a fix, which they are presently working on, or you can apply the enclosed workaround until the official patch is released.

In 1997, Spangler found that introducing URLS beginning "file" would cause Windows to attempt authentication with an SMB server at the given IP address (for example, file://1.1.1.1), which could then be used to record login credentials.

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The Woz, Stan Lee to Launch Silicon Valley Comic Con in 2016

Steve Wozniak and Stan Lee together putting on a Comic Con in Silicon Valley; does it get any better that this? Just having these two icons working together and the celebrities that their names will draw to the convention will probably make this event a sold out affair in very short order.

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10 Reasons to Embrace Windows 10

If you are sitting around wondering if you will make the switch over to Windows 10 when it is finalized later this year, ComputerWorld has analyzed the improvements in Windows 10 builds and will give you 10 solid reasons to consider making the switch.

There is a lot out there for both businesses and PC users to digest.

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Chris Hansen’s "To Catch a Predator" to Seek Revival

Chris Hanson is attempting to resurrect his hit series "To Catch a Predator" through croudfunding using Kickstarter to raise a minimum of $75K. The show went off the air in 2007.

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Bing Hits 20 Percent Search Market Share Milestone

Will wonders never cease? Not so very long ago, people were ready to write off Bing entirely. Now Bing is being used to search the Internet in one out of five searches, which is a new threshold for the Microsoft search engine. Google of course, is still in the number one slot, but actually fell slightly in the latest survey.

It’s a positive sign for Microsoft, especially since the search market seemed to be largely stagnant in 2014.

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VR Hack Lets You Play GTA V on Oculus

If you have mad hacking skills, have an Oculus and Grand Theft Auto 5, pick up a tool called VorpX and you are on your way to playing GTA5 in VR.

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Apple Just Bought 36K Acres of Forest Land

Jokes about tree hugging and all that aside, the fact of the matter is Apple is buying 36K acres of forest land to more closely control its own paper supply line and insure that all paper comes from trees that are replanted after harvesting, protecting the ecosystem.

These days, you’d be hard pressed to find a "greener" company in tech than Apple, which is quite a marked shift from the days when we seemingly couldn’t go 3 months without hearing Greenpeace complain about all of the things Apple wasn’t doing to keep its environmental footprint as small as possible.

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'Pings of Death' Are Killing Windows Servers

Attention System Admins: The SANS Institute has issued a warning for an exploit that can take servers offline without being patched. Microsoft issued an update to correct the problem and It is recommended that the patch be applied as quickly as possible.

However, within hours of the update going live, people reverse engineered the new code to find out where the hole is and how to exploit it, and have started sending out the pings of death.

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CD Projekt Red Announces The Witcher 3 Has Gone Gold

Three years in the making and a whole lot of anticipation for the game, CD Projekt Red announced this week that The Witcher 3 has gone gold and will be released on Xbox One, PS4 and PC on May 19th.

We literally spent tens of thousands of hours to turn all that into an adventure that will kick your ass and make you want to come for more.

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Saturday April 18, 2015

Halo: Spartan Strike Now Available on PC

343 Industries has teamed up with Vanguard Games to bring Halo: Spartan Strike to your PC, iPad and Windows Phone. The sequel to Spartan Assault is available for $5.99 or bundled for $9.99.

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Keep Windows 10 Preview Up to Date or Face a Dead PC

Microsoft has a strange way of keeping you up to date if you are running Windows 10 Preview; your PC won’t boot up. A not too subtle hint that the build that you are running isn’t in the best interest of Microsoft and you have to upgrade to the later 2015 Builds, which will also stop booting on October 15th when the Preview program officially ends.

The first three builds of Windows 10 Technical Preview—9841, 9860 and 9879, all released in 2014—will refuse to boot at the end of April, according to a message posted by a Microsoft support engineer on the company’s discussion forum.

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Sprint Unit Launches Prepaid Cell-Phone Service to Cuba

Sprint launched a direct prepaid cell service to Cuba this week through its subsidiary, Boost Mobile. The Sprint prepaid plan is the lowest cost alternative to other such prepaid plans, where customers will still pay about $.30 per minute including unlimited texting. There is an estimated two Million Cuban-Americans living in the US, most with relatives still in Cuba.

The Obama administration's new Cuban policy regulations approved by the Treasury and Commerce departments have opened the door for U.S.-based telecommunications firms to start potentially lucrative services to Cuba.

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Tim Cook Featured in TIME's List of '100 Most Influential People'

Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs, but has been recognized for his own style of management running Apple. He was left with the task of filling the shoes of Jobs and has done an admirable job of leading Apple to new heights financially. To celebrate his ‘job well done’ status, Tim Cook has been rewarded as one of Time’s 100 most influential people.

Notable inclusions in the tech industry include YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun.

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Google to Pull Chrome Plug on Windows XP at Year's End

If you are one of the holdouts still using Windows XP, your support systems continue to shrink. Google announced this week that it will be pulling support for XP on its Chrome browser at the end of this year.

"Millions of people are still working on XP computers every day [and] we want those people to have the option to use a browser that's up-to-date and as safe as possible on an unsupported operating system."

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Oldsmobile Made a Giant Wagon with Built-In Nintendo In 1990

If you were thinking that built-in gaming is a new concept in automobiles, think again. Trip all the way back 25 years to the Chicago Car Show and check out the 1990 Oldsmobile Expression concept car and you will see the built-in 8-bit Nintendo system along with the state of the art built-in VCR. Oldsmobile got it right, but just a tab bit early for the general population to appreciate the future.

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Apple Sends Out Ticket Confirmations to WWDC 2015 Lottery Winners

Apple’s WorldWide Developers Conference has grown to such a big event, developers are not only shelling out $1599 for the privilege of attending, they are now relegated to a lottery status to get tickets for the event.

WWDC 2015 is slated to run from June 8 to June 12 at Moscone West in San Francisco. Developers who registered to attend should know the status of their application by Monday, April 20 at 5 p.m. Pacific.

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US Navy Is Giving Up on Fighter Pilots and Turning to Drones

If you were contemplating a career in the Navy as an aviator, better start looking toward the Air Force for your flight fix, the Navy is about to go pilotless.

By moving away from crewed aircraft, Mabus said the Navy could develop new fighting craft without needing to factor in the pilot's safety, a process that extended the time and cost of projects

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Man Creates Shoes That Grow with the Kids

There is all variations of technology and sometimes the least profound brand can make the biggest impact on the world. A World Health worker has designed a new shoe that has the ability to grow with children in the third world to provide them with comfortable fitting shoes for at least five years.

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Microsoft Inks Deal with Unity and Unreal Engine

Microsoft is now in a cooperative partnership with three top game engine makers to provide full access to Microsoft’s Visual Studio to make the process of developing game engines much easier.

This arrangement will make it easier for developers to use the familiar Visual Studio suite of features with the most popular gaming engines in the near future, which should help improve the development process for new games.

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Rock Band, Guitar Hero Face Off (Again) This Fall

It has been a long time coming, but it’s that time again: The time to crank up the music and get your rock nerd on. Come this fall, you will have the choice to play either Rock Band or Guitar Hero, but which one will be the best fit for you?

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Drunk Roommates Stab Each Other in iPhone vs Android Fight

Many people think that Apple product users border on the fanatical, and that may or may not be true, but fanatical behavior is not limited to just Apple, it spills over into Android also. Of course alcohol is the perfect fuel to power a debate. big grin

"Police believe alcohol played a big role in this fight," said local television station KTUL in the most obvious statement ever.

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FCC Moves Toward 'Historic' Spectrum Sharing Plan

The FCC is finally making some headway in creating new spectrum of wireless frequencies by opening up what is called the Citizens Broadcast Radio Service frequencies for use with Wi-Fi applications.

The FCC voted Friday to approve its so-called Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) plan to open up wireless frequencies from 3550MHz to 3700MHz to new users, including new devices that could use the spectrum like current devices use Wi-Fi.

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DARPA Just Open Sourced All This Swish 'Dark Web' Search Tech

Lookout Google, Bing and Yahoo and all of the other top search engines, DARPA might just be shaking the foundations of search technology and introducing the means of a much better product to Internet users.

the project is so ambitious in its scope, it wants to shake up a staid search industry controlled by a handful of companies: Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

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Netflix Price Is Lower in Countries Where Piracy Is High

Netflix is a pretty pragmatic company when it comes to its pricing; the company likes to stay competitive with piracy. The higher the instances of piracy of movies and shows from torrent sites, the lower the cost of Netflix in that country.

If local content consumers are already perfectly comfortable with downloading shows and movies from torrent sites and digital lockers for free, Netflix has to keep prices low in order to attract customers.

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